Debbie Hesse has served in aquatics throughout her career. She brings 25 years of experience in fundraising, strategic planning, sports marketing, corporate partnerships and volunteer leadership.
Hesse led the USA Swimming Foundation, an Olympic sport foundation, by creating and fulfilling its mission of “Saving lives & building champions – in the pool and in life”. She oversaw an organizational annual budgetary increase of more than 300% (excluding USA Swimming support) and an endowment growth of $10 million. During her tenure, the Make a Splash initiative – an initiative to teach every child in America how to swim - grew to teach almost 2 million children annually.
Hesse’s Olympic experience also includes serving as President/CEO of USA Diving where the sport saw a resurgence in international success, earning the best results since the 1980s including winning four Olympic medals in 2012; and where she was directly responsible for doubling sponsorship and broadcast revenues. She also served as Executive Director of USA Synchronized Swimming, where she increased the annual budget by more than 250% in seven years, driven primarily by dramatic corporate partner revenue growth. During her tenure, the team won Olympic Gold in Atlanta in 1996.
Hesse previously served as President/CEO of Special Olympics Indiana where she led fundraising efforts and strategic planning, which included launching a new marketing and brand identity as well as several online initiatives. In addition, Hesse served as Assistant Manager/ Marketing Director for the International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex, where she was responsible for securing national events, raising revenues, and served during a major facility renovation project.
As a competitive swimmer, Hesse competed for Texas A&M.